Wrestling to make history at half-term spectacular in Worthing

Barry Cooper, left, with Steve Grey, right, and former wrestler Ivan Keemar, is set to make grappling history
Barry Cooper, left, with Steve Grey, right, and former wrestler Ivan Keemar, is set to make grappling history

Sussex taxi driver and wrestling champion Barry Cooper is set to make grappling history.

When he goes into the ring at the Northbrook Theatre, Worthing, on Thursday (February 20), it will be his 292nd appearance for the Premier Wrestling Federation, one of the UK’s top promotions, beating the long-time record held by former world champion Steve Grey. The PWF middleweight title-holder, the organisation’s longest reigning champion and one of the most respected figures in British wrestling, appeared on the first Premier Promotions show at Hove Town Hall in December, 1987.

Since then, the Brighton-based star has wrestled on shows all over the country, and he now has his sights set on becoming the first wrestler to reach the 300 appearance milestone. Cooper is set to meet the self-styled ‘Prince of Mumbai’ Rishi Ghosh in one of the feature bouts at the half-term spectacular that also includes a top-of-the-bill ladies tag-team clash and a big heavyweight battle involving the new PWF title-holder Josh Faulkner. Grey, who also appeared on that inaugural Hove show more than 30 years ago, will be in the ring when Cooper smashes his record, as he will be the referee for next Thursday’s show.

The ladies tag match, billed as the biggest ever staged in Worthing, sees Amazon and Astrid the Viking, both managed by ‘The Twisted Genius’ Dean Ayass, team up against Zoe Lucas and Zan Phoenix, with Amazon’s PWF championship belt at stake.

The bout is a sequel to a controversial match on a previous Worthing show when Astrid was disqualified against Phoenix, a decision that infuriated Ayass, who demanded a rematch involving Amazon, saying he would hand back the ladies’ belt if his team were defeated.

Faulkner, who became the youngest heavyweight champion in PWF history when he beat former European title-holder James Mason on the last Northbrook show, heads the supporting card when he takes on Kris Kay, a previous holder of the title making his first appearance in a Premier Promotions ring for a number of years.

Tickets, including discounts for advanced bookings, are available on line at www.ticketsource.co.uk/premier-promotions or by calling the box office 0333 666 3366.